• Gary Moller

The Violence-Inducing Effects of Psychiatric Medication

Psychiatric medications have some dangerous, often-overlooked side effects, which could include suicide and homicide.

There is much discussion happening in New Zealand right now about how badly our over-stretched health services are letting anxious, depressed and suicidal people down. It is an appalling situation that needs to be urgently addressed.

The elephant in the room that is being completely ignored is the explosion in the prescribing of expensive, side-effect-riddled, mind-altering drugs by health professionals, while allied counselling services flounder. It cannot be ignored that the increase in suicide in New Zealand is in parallel with the increase in the prescribing of these medications. Are these drugs actually making matters worse, rather than better? I think they are making matters worse.

It never ceases to astonish and appall me how often a young person and their distraught family may reach out to the health services, desperate for help, only to be handed a prescription for what are little more than a combination of "Uppers" and "Downers".

If they are lucky, they will be referred to a counselling service, but seldom is the first session less than 2-4 weeks away. A delay of more than a few days is unacceptable when in such desperate circumstances.

Which comes first: the thoughts about causing self-harm or the mind-altering drug?

I would argue that the voices inside our heads about causing self-harm, or the harming of others, are always there. We all have these voices to some degree. In a healthy person there is a second, louder voice, and this is the voice of good-sense and self-preservation - the "Voice of Conscience".

When I'm quietly thinking about how I'd love to smash that really annoying person in the face, this is countered by an even stronger voice that forcefully says, "Don't do it, Gary!" I take note and don't do it.